Saturday, August 25, 2012: Part 1
It’s been amazing already, there was a welcoming committee waiting at the airport and everyone is so excited to greet us. They whisked us through all the customs and passport clearance, took lots of photos of us, took all our luggage and delivered it to our rooms and got us a bus to the Rowing Village.
We are about two hours away from the main Athlete Village (that’s with busy downtown London traffic) and we will stay here until we are done racing, then we’ll move in over there. This village is closer to Eton and is quieter with fewer distractions.
We have been amazed how tight the security is; each time we enter a venue on the bus we have to stop and the bus is thoroughly examined with police dogs, mirrors, etc., then once the bus is cleared we all have to go through the equivalent of an airport security check and have our accreditation scanned.
Our village has residences, a dining hall, a gym, laundry facilities, a recreation room and a medical clinic. We have our own wing with individual bedrooms and a common living area (just for Canada). Ireland is staying upstairs so we have our buddies nearby!
I can’t describe how excited we were when we got into our rooms. The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) had been in and decorated it all Canadian – flags, stickers, posters and then there was the suitcase of clothing from HBC as well as other gifts from our sponsors. It was like Christmas!! None of us could sleep after going through everything, it was really cool. The jean jacket is awesome, especially because ours are unique with the Paralympic patch on it. Another favorite is a comforter that has all the Paralympic sport symbols on it and the quote “Courage, determination, inspiration and equality.”
We have been assigned three volunteers who have made us feel very welcome and who help us get whatever we need. We all have preferences for what we put in our shakes before a row and they made sure we all got what we needed and we have our own fridge to store it all in. It sounds minor but little comforts can make a big difference!
I’ll end this here for now because yesterday we went into the main village for the day and that was unbelievable! I’ll write more about that later!
Very excited, but ready to get down to work!